Category Archives: London Road

Our response to London Road plans

London Road plans 2017 - impressionThe text below is LCCG’s response to the plans to improve the area in front of the station on London Road and to build new cycle paths from the station out to the roundabout with Mayfield Road (corner of Victoria Park). If you’ve not seen the plans yet, you can download them here:

London Road plans 2017 – Option 1

London Road plans 2017 – Option 2

For more information, see the Council’s website here and here.

We would be very grateful if you would send the Council your views on the plans. You will need to send an email to: transport-strategyenquiries@ leicester.gov.uk (there is no online consultation form this time).

Please feel free to use all or part of our response when writing your own. The Council count numbers of responses for/against/other so even if you only send an email saying “I support the viewpoints submitted by Leicester Cycling Campaign Group” that will be very helpful to our cause.

The deadline for responses extended to FRIDAY 10th NOVEMBER.

 

Official response from Leicester Cycling Campaign Group to London Road proposal

LCCG are impressed by the plans offered for the London Road redevelopment and believe that this design is by far the best that has been drafted to date. Particular points that we are in support of are inclusion of cycle lanes on both sides of the road, cycle gates at major junctions, and priority given to cyclists at minor junctions.

However, we have highlighted a number of issues with the plans that, if not addressed, will limit the success of the scheme for all users. Four major points are outlined below followed by more detailed issues.

  1. Separation of different modes of traffic

We are strongly in favour of separating cycles from both pedestrians and motor traffic. Currently, the plans and artistic impressions show a worrying lack of adequate separation between bicycles and motor traffic. For London Road, the optimal solution, as advocated by Brian Deegan, is kerbed separation with cycles at carriageway level. This has a number of advantages over other options including:

  • Safe, protected space for cycles away from cars, trucks, and buses, as well as the feeling of protection
  • Prevents parking on cycle tracks (a major problem on Newark St and Welford Rd)
  • Better for pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, as there is clear segregation
  • Problems associated with cycles going up and down kerbs at junctions are removed.

The design as presented represents our third choice of segregation, and we do not think it will work. Please note that we do not want to see the cycle lanes built, and then protection from parking added. This has not worked on Newarke St. and needs to be addressed from the start with upright segregation, ideally in the form of kerbed separation as is common in London. A detail of the kerbed segregation is drainage and avoiding grates in the cycle lanes. Given conversations at consultation events, we feel it important to point out that there is no evidence that kerbed separation is a trip hazard, especially on an arterial route like London Rd. 

  1. Implementation of cycle stop gates

The cycle stop gates proposed at the major junctions are an innovative solution that we applaud. We are fully in support but want to make sure that care is taken when implementing these so that they are effective. This means careful consideration of timings at junctions and ensuring that there is visible continuation of the cycle track (e.g. with coloured asphalt) through the junction. We have a concern about the timing for left turns onto University Road and the possible conflict of cyclists arriving at a green light allowing them to proceed downhill while the light is also green for cars to turn left. 

  1. Priority at minor junctions

Providing cycles (and pedestrians?) with priority at minor junctions is a vast improvement of these plans, relative to other recent developments (e.g. Welford Road and the A50). To ensure that this priority functions well, it is vital that engineering measures are taken to alter the behaviour of motor vehicles, for example, raising the table and tightening the corners to force drivers to slow down and consider crossing traffic. This is especially important at certain junctions (e.g. Conduit Street).

  1. Connecting to existing infrastructure

It is essential that cyclists are able to easily access the new cycle tracks and that it makes sense to use them. The trickiest parts of the route are at either end – by the Mayfield Road roundabout at the top and in front of the Station at the bottom. These sections need to be carefully thought through as they could easily end as too inconvenient to use, e.g. for those continuing south beyond Mayfield roundabout. An addition that would support cycling in the area would be a connection from Granville Street / De Montfort Hall area to the proposed cycle way along Victoria Park.

Additional points:

  • Front of station: We see advantages and disadvantages to bus stops in front of the station and to drop off/pick up space in front of the station. We think that the clear, designated cycle path in front of station is important, very much better than unmarked shared space. Maybe include railings to prevent pedestrians walking willy-nilly across the cycle track where they don’t expect faster vehicles. While we appreciate the idea that drop-off/pick up space in front of the station may mean that only professional drivers actually drive out of the station and across the footway and cycleway, would the drop-off space in Option 2 be enough to allow this?
  • Provision of adequate cycle parking by shops along London Rd will reduce likelihood of bikes attached to random poles and railings.
  • The chicanes around bus stops are very tight as displayed on the plans. We are concerned this will lead to conflict with pedestrians and lack of visibility around the bus stops.
  • We are concerned that parking bays appear to intrude onto the cycle lane, but recognise this could be an appearance rather than actuality.
  • We are concerned about the kerb at Granville Street, both continuing toward the station from the south, and turning from Granville St onto the cycle way. As above, we believe the best solution would be a kerbed separation that leaves the cycle track at carriageway level.

Overall, as stated at the beginning, these are very good plans. We hope that careful consideration is given to the points raised in this response as there are still a number of important engineering decisions that will significantly affect the effectiveness of this scheme. We believe that the issues we raise will not just be of benefit to cyclists but, in fact, will make the scheme more successful for all users.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under London Road

London Road Sept 2016 update

The death of Sam Boulton on London Road on 27th July highlighted the lack of space for cycling on London Road. There were two Critical Mass rides, one of which ended up at an exhibition of Sam’s art at the Parcel Yard. A petition was started to allow cycling on New Walk with 1034 signatures at time of writing.

The city council took the (unprecedented) step of sharing its early plans for a two way cycle track on the inbound side of London Road. They were discussed at the August Cycle City Workshop meeting which agreed unanimously that a two way track on one side of the road isn’t good enough, and that there should be tracks on both sides of London Road.

The cycle campaign supports calls for tracks on both sides for the following reasons –

  • Cyclists are put in danger when they are (legitimately) riding on cycle tracks against the flow of traffic because drivers turning out of and into junctions frequently fail to look for or see them – try riding along Granby St past Northampton St towards the station for an example. Cycle tracks should run in the direction of general traffic (but allow use the ‘wrong’ way where necessary).
  • London Road is a destination with shops, businesses and other routes on both sides. A cycle route on one side only will make riding here less attractive and lead to pavement cycling.
  • Routes each side will be easier to build at an appropriate width than one two way one.

As ever, the detail of any design is critical here. Schemes in Leicester tend to treat us as fast pedestrians who don’t mind giving way at every opportunity. We would like to see the planners treat cyclists as vehicles which need priority when passing side roads and design a safe, continuous and direct route along this busy road.

The plans released by the council are said to be at an early stage. We need to lobby for tracks each side as a matter of priority. The campaign will be in touch with Adam Clarke (assistant mayor with responsibility for Energy & Sustainability) to press this point and will continue to lobby for an first class route which will be an example of what can be done.

Leave a comment

Filed under London Road, News

Meeting the Mayor – 24th Sept 2014

Dave, Elizabeth and Anna attended a meeting with Mr Soulsby (City Mayor) and Barry Pritchard (Lead Engineer on Connecting Leicester)

It was a very positive meeting predominantly about London Road, how it can be improved for people on bikes.
We talked about what we would expect from a good quality cycle facility on London Road ( segregated/separated from traffic, continuous, security at junctions, for a facility to be on both sides of the road, going with the flow of traffic).
We talked about the difference in space available along London Road, from narrow with lots of street furniture to wide with plenty of space.
We discussed the issues around parking in bus lanes and the parking outside the Train Station (illegal dropping off area)
A major issue will be parking, the council are going to look into the availability of parking on the streets off London Road to enable current on street parking to be used for cycle lanes.
The council will assess the level of traffic along London Road at different times of the day etc
Early stage plans will be developed over the next few weeks, we will look to contact the council in a months time if we haven’t heard anything.
There is still plenty of time to feed in ideas etc…

Leave a comment

Filed under London Road, Meetings, News